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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
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Jmd123 has attached these 5 pictures. The message is below.
First trout of the year!  First fish of the day, too
"Double-flowered" marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris) - should I cultivate this??
Last of the bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), this bloomed a month ago downstate!
Serviceberries in bloom along the Au Sable
Don't eat the brains!!!  The "beefsteak morel", Gyromitra esculenta...which one of my students claims he has eaten for years, even though every single one of my mushroom books say its POISONOUS...
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 15, 2017May 15th, 2017, 12:21 pm EDT
Since I haven't heard any fellow Michiganders posting on here lately, I thought I should. After all, I did my very first day of trout fishing today, about time with all of the cold, rainy, windy weather we have been having. I took the kayak out for its first voyage of the year, too, on a trip to [REDACTED] Pond to see if the perch and/or brookies were awake yet. Well, not very much, but a few were awake enough to hit a dark brown mottled WB with black bead-chain eyes, standard fly there at this time of the year. After what seemed like a long time of searching, I finally got a couple of brookies, including the handsome one above, and then a very slow perch bite with a few hitting 10" or so. There was enough wind to be annoying, with occasional insects that could be midges or small caddis with a random fish here or there feeding on them. Other than that, sunny and very clear water, might have slowed them down a bit, next trip will be towards evening.

Thank goodness some trout fishing at last! Though I have been panfishing plenty of times, both here and downstate. The bluegill in Clark's Marsh are now regularly hitting 9 inches, due apparently to catch and release as they are contaminated and folks are heeding the warning signs. Possible state record here in a few more years??

Also, some wildflowers, extremely welcome after another dreary winter.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on May 15, 2017May 15th, 2017, 3:36 pm EDT
I imagine most of your mushroom books also say of the false morel, "But some people eat them anyway." I know I've read that often. I guess there is something individualized about their toxicity. But why take a chance?
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Willy's profile picture
Chicago, IL

Posts: 47
Willy on May 16, 2017May 16th, 2017, 1:46 am EDT
I've read that the toxins bioaccumulate. So you could eat them without problems for 20+ years and then drop dead the next time that you eat them. Also a good percentage of the poisoning cases from beefsteaks are fatal. I found a bunch up in Michigan last week. No morels though.
Check out my fishing pictures on Instagram.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 16, 2017May 16th, 2017, 11:32 am EDT
I have probably 20 or so mushroom books (no kidding) and every single one of them says that this species of mushroom is deadly poisonous. However, one book states that the toxin present in this species, monomethylhydrazine (which happens to be a carcinogenic relative to storable rocket fuel!), boils at a lower point (87.6 C) than water, and so it is possible to cook out the toxin...but how do you know if you've gotten rid of it ALL? Also, there are many instances of several people eating this mushroom with only the COOK getting sick - because they inhaled the toxin as they cooked the mushrooms...if you really want to play Russian Roulette, I have many nice Smith & Wesson revolvers you can borrow, I'm certain that death would be much less painful than total liver failure...

The real morels are coming up around here, already had some with bacon last week! With them soon are the mosquitos, blackflies, ticks...yep, its spring for real now! Gotta go find some Hendricksons on a local river one of these days...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on May 19, 2017May 19th, 2017, 2:31 pm EDT
I ate some beefsteaks once and while they were tasty my wifes uncle got very sick that night. I blamed it on the old Milwaukee but really I never wanted to eat another beefsteak after that.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 22, 2017May 22nd, 2017, 12:28 pm EDT
Just got a new mushroom book that says:

"Despite being poisonous, in parts of Europe it is eaten after careful drying or repeated boiling in fresh water."

Well, I don't know how drying would eliminate the toxin unless it's done at a high enough temperature (like around 200 F) to drive the toxin out, but boiling in several changes of water would probably do the trick. But what would a mushroom boiled several times taste like, much of anything??

No thanks, I'll stick to the true and safe kind that I don't need to detoxify, they are popping up now and we have had plenty of rain with more on the way.


P.S. New book is Mushrooms from the Dorling Kindersley Handbook series, nicely illustrated with color photos, by Thomas Laessoe and Gary Lincoff.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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